Why Buy It Now Can Help When Selling On eBay

Sometimes, It's Better to Ignore Auctions when Selling on eBay

After cleaning a few things out of my house, I learned something new about eBay's Buy It Now option: on most items, it disappears after someone makes a bid. That means you're better off listing something with Buy It Now rather than as a straight auction.

Last week, I was selling something with a Buy It Now price, and was answering some questions with an interested buyer. Unfortunately, by the time I had answered all of his questions, someone had made a starting bid and he could no longer buy it straight away — which he said he had wanted to do. The item ended up selling for half the Buy It Now price. If he had acted quicker, I could have made twice as much money.

Perhaps this is old news to some, but I never knew that the Buy It Now option disappeared a href="http://pages.ebay.com.au/help/buy/how-buy-bin.html">after one bid was made. So, despite the fact that eBay is an auction site, it might be worth making a fixed listing for certain items.

You may have to wait a little bit longer, but you have the potential to make more money than you would on an auction. The Buy It Now price has to be at least 30 per cent more than the reserve price. It could be worth experimenting; after al, if it doesn't sell after 10 or 30 days, you can always re-list it as an auction later.


    Having both isn't a bad idea. Put the Buy It Now at a reasonable price you don't mind getting for the item and leave the auction on. The auction will always get you what the item is probably really worth, whereas Buy It Now is more what you think is worth.

    Plus in the above example, the interested buyer may not have purchased it anyway.

    Doesn't it cost more for a listing with the Buy It Now option?

    I use to use ebay and would use Buy it now to indicate the type of price I wanted (conditioning!). As a buyer it is often a good way so I can lock in the purchase rather than go through the auction process.
    I could be biased but having found ebay too hard I started up a new site: oddswop.com.au (it'll be live in the next week or so!)

    Buy It Now is good from a buyer perspective as long as the price is just within touching distance of what the item would roughly go for by end of an auction. Too high and savvy buyers wont touch it (ie people like me who research before buying/bidding). I guess from a seller perspective you may or may not get the price your looking for. Set it too high and no one will touch it. Auctions are a crapshoot, sometimes you get lot of people 'overbidding' desperate to get the item as a result seller gets more $$$.

    Buy It Now is a good way to get an auction started too - savvy buyers who want a bargain will often wait till near the end of an auction before bidding at all - an auction with no bids often appears as a warning to others, and they will pick it up for the base amount.

    However, a Buy It Now helps reduce that, because someone can walk off with it at any time, so I've found bidders will bid just to cancel the BIN option and keep the auction in play.
    Once a bid has been landed, the other bidders tend to come out of their shells.

    Yeah i've been in the same position as the OP and got really annoyed when the paid for Buy It Now option disappeared.

    I spoke with ebay about it and they their explanation was typically non-sensical. Something about it not being fair to bidders if someone goes ahead and buys the item after at least one bid has been placed. Completely stupid as any bidder also had the option to Buy It Now.

    What's the point of the buy it now option disappearing? It makes sense for their to be both options simultaneously. If someone wants to wait for the end of the auction period, and / or potentially get the item at a lower price they can bid. If they want the item now, and don't want someone else to buy it first, they can buy it now at the higher amount. I don't see why a single bid or a bidding war should deny the seller the opportunity for the item to be sold quicker and at a higher price.

    Win, win for everyone.

    But no, that would be too straightforward.

    The reason it disappears is because it would not be fair to a bidder who had a bid higher than the Buy It Now. Having the BIN option only disappear if the auction exceeded it would provide a clue to bid amounts, so it makes sense that it is lost on first bid.

    Of course if you're stupid enough to bid higher than the BIN price that's your problem.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now